Otter Point & Shirley Residents & Ratepayers Association

Annual General Meeting

Held on Tuesday, November 20, 2001

At the Otter Point Fire Hall, 3727 Otter Point Road at 7:30 p.m.

 

Present:           

 

Ken Pungente (President),

Arnie Campbell (Vice President),

Manfred Maurus,

Mitch Monero,

Wendy Morton,

Byron Tweedy

 

Absent:            

 

Lorraine Simrose

 

Public:              Approximately 70

 

The President called the meeting to order and began by disclosing the minutes of the previous meeting and the agenda for the evening's meeting.

 

I.                Elections

 

The President advised the public that nominations for President, Vice President, Secretary/Treasurer, and the five Director seats would be accepted this evening. It was explained that, in the event that more than one resident was nominated for a position, ballots would be distributed and votes collected. At this time, the executive joined the floor and Greg Wincup proceeded to call for nominations for the above positions. By affirmation the following executive was declared:

 

President:                      Ken Pungente

Vice President:              Arnie Campbell

Secretary Treasurer:      Wendy Miller

Director:                       Manfred Maurus

Director:                       Mitch Monero

Director:                       Wendy Morton

Director:                       Lorraine Simrose

Director:                       Byron Tweedy

 

2.                Incorporation

 

Regarding incorporation, the President explained that the recent Resort on Governance for the Juan De Fuca Electoral Area of the Capital Regional District by Ben Marr offered three options for Otter Point/Kemp Lake/Shirley district. The three options include remaining status quo, joining the District of Sooke or becoming a separate municipality.

 

It was noted that the Ministry of Municipal Affairs (presently the Ministry of Community, Aboriginal and Women's Services) is not supporting the creation of more municipalities at this time. It was also noted that the current Mayor and Council is pro development and has taken numerous properties out of the Agriculture Land Reserve and appears to support the "big box store" approach. It was explained that, although the Regional Growth Strategy promotes growth in community cores, the District of Sooke does not have to define its area of growth for two years. It was also suggested that if Otter Point/Kemp Lake/Shirley district were to join the District of Sooke, council representation would most likely be limited to one. It is expected that an incorporation vote will be scheduled for this spring.

 

Director Tweedy noted that Regional Director Henson and Mayor Macgregor do not support the Regional Growth Strategy and that it does protect the surrounding district as it only promotes dense growth.

 

The Vice President explained that the CRD Board is not bound to the recommendations of the Regional Growth Strategy and that Otter Point/Kemp Lake/Shirley district is not protected by it. Thus, it is crucial that we speak as a community as important decisions will be made over the next year.

 

Director Morton spoke to the recent growth of Langford and the possibility of such growth reaching Otter Point/Kemp Lake/Shirley district. Amalgamation would result in a larger tax base for the District of Sooke. Sewer tax would be based on potential development of properties. Director Morton affirmed that the community needs to communicate its concerns to Sooke Council, attend meetings and write letters.

 

Director Monero spoke to the systematic dismembering of the CRD and the status quo system by noting that the building inspection offices are being relocated out of the community and that this dismantlement should be questioned.

 

At this time, the President asked if there were any questions from the floor.

 

Public: A question was raised regarding the current status quo system.

 

It was explained that Regional Director represents the Otter Point/Kemp Lake/Shirley district and the Provincial Government will decide if the community will be granted the opportunity to vote on incorporation.

 

The Vice President explained that the JDF Electoral Area is not entitled to two Regional Directors since incorporation and to vote on land issues Regional Director Henson must call upon another Regional Director to vote.

 

Public: A question was raised regarding the, pros of amalgamation.

 

has taken numerous properties out of the Agriculture Land Reserve and appears to support the "big box store" approach. It was explained that, although the Regional Growth Stratey promotes growth in community cores, the District of Sooke does not have to define its area of growth for two years. It was also suggested that if Otter Point/Kemp Lake/Shirley district were to join the District of Sooke, council representation would most likely be limited to one. It is expected that an incorporation vote will be scheduled for this spring.

 

Director Tweedy noted that Regional Director Henson and Mayor Macgregor do not support the Regional Growth Strategy and that it does protect the surrounding district as it only promotes dense growth.

 

The Vice President explained that the CRD Board is not bound to the recommendations of the Regional Growth Strategy and that Otter Point/Kemp Lake/Shirley district is not protected by it. Thus, it is crucial that we speak as a community as important decisions will be made over the next year.

 

Director Morton spoke to the recent growth of Langford and the possibility of such growth reaching Otter Point/Kemp Lake/Shirley district. Amalgamation would result in a larger tax base for the District of Sooke. Sewer tax would be based on potential development of properties. Director Morton affirmed that the community needs to communicate its concerns to Sooke Council, attend meetings and write letters.

 

Director Monero spoke to the systematic dismembering of the CRD and the status quo system by noting that the building inspection offices are being relocated out of the community and that this dismantlement should be questioned.

 

At this time, the President asked if there were any questions from the floor.

 

Public: A question was raised regarding the current status quo system.

 

It was explained that Regional Director represents the Otter Point/Kemp Lake/Shirley district and the Provincial Government will decide if the community will be granted the opportunity to vote on incorporation.

 

The Vice President explained that the JDF Electoral Area is not entitled to two Regional Directors since incorporation and to vote on land issues Regional Director Henson must call upon another Regional Director to vote.

 

Public: A question was raised regarding the, pros of amalgamation.  It was explained that a study will eventually reveal the pros of amalgamation. However, it was noted that Sooke's incorporation study did not accurately report on the costs of policing, taxes, and parks and recreation.

 

Public: As it is felt that the status quo will not be able to continue to provide for the needs of the community, a request was made for a study and a further meeting for debate.

 

It was explained that a study will cost money and that the purpose of this organization is to act as a conduit for communication and fact sharing. It is felt that if the OPSRRA participates in a study the organization will loose its voice. Thus, it has been decided that if a member of the executive participates, the member will represent only themselves.

 

Public: It was noted that more public involvement is required before any study is pursued.

 

Public: It was noted that greater communication is needed and that perhaps computers should be utilized.

 

Public: As more facts are needed, a request was made for representatives from the different levels of government including the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Sooke Council be called upon to answer questions.

 

The President agreed that more discussion needs to take place.

 

Public: A fact list noting the community's boundaries and study details was requested for the next meeting.

 

At this time, the Vice President spoke to the time table presented in the Ben Marr report.

 

In the Ben Marr report:

 

‑ The Ministry of Municipal Affairs is to find a consultant by November 30 ‑ The resulting study is to be completed by March 31 ‑ The vote is to take place by June 2002

 

The Vice President noted that Sooke will not proceed with this process until the residents of the District vote on the incorporation of Otter Point/Kemp Lake/Shirley district.

 

At this time, the President noted that, excluding East Sooke, the JDF Electoral Area boundaries extend to Port Renfrew and that the area is larger than the combined area of Oak Bay, Colwood, Langford, Metchosin, and Sidney. The JDF Electoral area may have a small population but most of the land consists of forestry land. It was noted that forestry land is taxed four times the rate of residential properties and that businesses are taxed two times the rate of residential properties and, for that fact, this area is desirable.


Sheila Wincup: Asked whether the Ministry of Municipal Affairs guarantees that a study will be performed.

 

It was explained that a study is requested in the Ben Marr report but that the Provincial Government would have to agree to fund the study.

 

Public: It was asked if there has been a tax comparison study.

 

No study has been performed.

 

Public: Clarification was requested regarding the districts included in the JDF Electoral Area and if all areas were considering joining Sooke.

 

It was explained that the JDF Electoral Area consists of Otter Point, Shirley, Kemp Lake, Port Renfrew, Willis Point and a portion of Admirals and north Highlands. All these areas were given options under the Ben Marr report except for blocks of reservation lands. Otter Point, Shirley, Kemp Lake and Port Renfrew were all given the option of joining Sooke.

 

Public: Stated that there is only one real fact and that fact is that the new municipality of Sooke can barely govern itself.

 

Director Tweedy stressed that it is essential that Otter Point/Kemp Lake/Shirley district maintain its boundaries and its integrity. Theoretically, Otter Point/Kemp Lake/Shirley district could unwillingly become amalgamated. It was affirmed that nothing is wrong with Otter Point/Kemp Lake/Shirley district, that there has never been any dissertation and that the community is happy. Director Tweedy added that Otter Point/Kemp Lake/Shirley district may be promised an urban containment boundary and that it will be argued that taxes will increase regardless and that Sooke will mostly likely raise the emotional argument that Sooke and the out lining districts have always been one.

 

Public: It was suggested that a summary of OPSRRA's principles could be distributed to Mayor and Council and the Regional Director.

 

Public: It was asked any references to the "big box approach" not be included in the summary of principles as it would be negligent for any governing body to consider such development for this area.

 

The Vice President stated that he has been living in the community since 1969 and at that time Langford was not developed. Thus, it is necessary that we try to look twenty five years ahead.

 

Public: It was noted by a resident that in 1959 the only water source was Wells O'Weary and that to this day the community's water supply remains limited. It was affirmed that Muir Creek, which is under forestry management, must be utilized as a water source.

 

Steve Bradley: Cautioned that to be a rural section of an urban community is not the same as being a rural community and that rock stubbornness is the answer. The community should push for two Regional Director representation and then independence.

 

Upon sensing the level of apprehension in the community, the President advised the floor that the Executive will get together for further discussion and that the Executive will endeavor to have more public meetings and the minutes available for the public.

 

MOVED THAT, at the call of the Executive, a meeting in a larger meeting facility be organized to discuss amalgamation. SECONDED

 

With the motion before the floor, it was noted that the larger meeting facilities are in Sooke. A discussion ensued regarding organizing two smaller meetings; one in Shirley and one in Otter Point.

 

MOVED BY GREG WINCUP THAT the main motion be amended to strike out all

 

references to the size of the facility.

SECONDED BY DAVE EVANS                                                                     CARRIED.

The President called the main motion and is was                                                  CARRIED.

 

3.                                                                                                                                          Regional Growth Strategy

 

In limbo. No new information available.

 

4.                                                                                                                             Logging in Kemp Lake Watershed

 

Crown Land in the vicinity of the Kemp Lake watershed will not be logged.

 

5.                                                                                                     District of Sooke Expansion of Western Boundary

 

Expansion of the District of Sooke's western boundary to Kemp Lake is on hold.

 

6.                                                                                                                                                              Noise Bylaw

 

Implementation of a noise bylaw for farming, forestry and fishing activities is being taken to the Regional Director.

 

7.                                                                                                                               District of Sooke: Sewage Outfall

 

OPSRRA has sent a letter to the District of Sooke in opposition of the plans to implement a sewerage outfall into the Strait of Juan de Fuca adjacent to Otter Point. Implementation of a sewerage system in the District of Sooke is subject grant funding.

 

8.                                                                                                                                                           Water Petition

 

On December 1, residents served by the Juan de Fuca Water Distribution Commission will vote on a bylaw that aims to improve the planning and expansion of the local water system and approve the borrowing of 8.5 million dollars. It was explained that the Vice President spoke to Michael Bennott of Municipal Services and it was confirmed that the 8.50 million dollars is for upgrades and repairs.

 

A discussion ensued and it was explained that although residents of the area will not be using the system, residents are allowed to vote as the JDF Water Distribution Commission administers the utility function for the entire region. However, some concern was raised that there isn't a sufficient tax base for the necessary 8.50 million and that Electoral area residents could eventually be levied.

 

The President advised the floor that there is an open house scheduled for November 27 at the Sooke Municipal Hall.

 

9.                                                                                                                                                            New Business

 

By a show of hands, the floor was asked how they heard about the meeting. The Flyer Force ranked first, telephone notification ranked second and the Sooke Mirror aid ranked third.

 

Pat Phyllis asked that all members of the public announce there first and last name when addressing the executive.

 

On a regular motion, the meeting adjourned.